A DEVELOPER behind plans to build 660 new homes in Rochford says it has listened to campaigners’ concerns and modified its plans.

Bloor Homes wants to build on land off Ashingdon Road and Oxford Road, with access to the site opposite Holt Farm Junior and Infant Schools.

The developer had planned to narrow the pavement outside the school to allow it to widen the road for a right turn into the estate, but has now ditched this plan after horrified parents and residents protested.

The scheme would have seen traffic queuing behind drivers wanting to turn right on to the estate.

After consulting with highways specialists Ardent, Bloor Homes is now proposing a T-junction with a dedicated right turn lane which will allow traffic to continue flowing past the junction.

The scheme will now mean the pavement will also be widened outside the school and a dedicated pick-up and drop off zone created.

Proposals to remove an old oak tree outside the school will still be required but the developer says this will be replaced with three new trees on grass verges near the school.

Outlining its plans in a report to residents following feedback from a public exhibition in July, the company said: “We are acutely aware of the concern and sensitivities of local residents, schools, community groups and elected members have towards this development.”

It added: “An alternative access proposal was produced by specialist highways consultants. This is shown to operate better in capacity terms than the signal layout scheme, reducing congestion.”

Roger Gardiner, 68, of Ashingdon Road, Hawkwell is a member of her Caring about Rochford Facebook group which opposes the development.

He said: “They haven’t listened at all. This will make it worse. The traffic jams will be horrendous.

“With what they are building in Hullbridge, traffic will be coming down there because there is no other way. The council hasn’t thought this through.”

A Bloor Homes spokesman said the development will be an "important contribution to delivery of much-need housing in the area".

He added: "As part of the development plans, it will be necessary to remove the oak tree at the entrance to the development. 

"However, we recognise the importance of this tree to the local community and are preparing a range of new tree planting measures on the site and in the local area. 

"This includes trees being planted along Ashingdon Road, funding for a community planting event on public land to provide a small copse and tree planting at Holt Farm Community Infant School.

"Essex County Council has endorsed the initial highways proposals that we have put forward, which include a new safe and secure entrance to the site and a proposed dedicated drop off/pick up area
within our development. 

"This will alleviate congestion on Ashingdon Road caused by school traffic at peak times."

There will also be new pedestrian and cycle provision.